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James Beard Committee Cancels Raleigh Meeting Because of Anti-LGBT Law

North Carolina’s HB2 provisions are ‘contrary to the values of the James Beard Foundation’

The James Beard Foundation has made its stance on North Carolina’s HB2 law clear in announcing that its committee’s annual meeting in January will not be held in Raleigh, as previously planned.

The HB2, also called House Bill 2 or the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, which was passed in North Carolina in March of this year, is a controversial anti-LGBT legislation that prevents transgender persons from using the bathrooms of the gender with which they identify.

In a statement, the committee said, “The law's provisions are contrary to the values of the James Beard Foundation; accordingly, the Restaurant and Chef Awards Subcommittee has, by unanimous vote, decided to cancel its planned meeting in that state,” the News & Observer quoted.

The committee holds meetings three times a year in different cities, which are beneficial to these cities as they are “a way of getting us to some restaurants and cities we might not normally get to,” said committee chair Phil Vettel, restaurant critic for the Chicago Tribune. Thus, skipping the trip to Raleigh negatively affects the restaurant industry in the area.

Though the committee does not choose the winners or even the finalists for the prestigious James Beard Awards, it does choose the “20 or so chefs, restaurants, bakers, and beverage professionals” that become semifinalists.

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The committee has not announced where it will travel to in place of Raleigh.